An artful remodel of your Long Island kitchen can bring a new pulse of life into the heart of your home. The secret to great results lies in the design. From planning the layout and traffic flow to choosing the appliances and cabinets, most of the decisions that determine whether your kitchen will be a satisfying success or a frustrating failure occur during the critical design phase. Avoid the following common design mistakes to achieve a kitchen that will look fabulous and function beautifully for many years to come.

1. Unworkable Layouts

Most kitchen activities revolve around the sink, stove and refrigerator, so there needs to be unobstructed paths to and from these fixtures. Keep this work triangle compact too. The last thing you want is have to dash across the room to fetch an item when you’re in the middle of perfecting a recipe.

2. Jarring Designs

With today’s open floor plans, it takes more than properly organized work triangles to achieve a stand-out yet functional style. It shouldn’t feel like you’re walking into a different home when entering your new kitchen. Integrate the room into larger living spaces with coordinated color palettes, complimentary materials and well-planned traffic patterns.

3. Appliance Placement

High-quality appliances are a must when remodeling your Long Island kitchen, but the wrong size or placement can make them frustrating to use. Size the refrigerator right so that you can open the door wide without bumping into cabinets. Double check to make sure that the dishwasher won’t block essential storage when opened and remember to include space for the microwave.

4. Cheap Cabinets

Chances are you won’t be remodeling your kitchen again for many years, if ever. Don’t settle for bottom-price cabinets that won’t stand the test of time. Check hinges, examine drawer glides and choose quality materials. Well-constructed custom cabinetry is a feature that pays for itself in years of functional service and sophisticated style.

5. Lousy Lighting

The most beautiful cabinets and countertops in the world won’t make up for a dark and dreary space. Include overhead and under-cabinet task lighting for the stove, sink and prep areas in your design and make sure that your budget covers any wiring you may need to accommodate the new fixtures.

6. Splashy Sinks

Keep your personal cooking and clean-up style in mind when shopping for sinks and faucets. Pull-out faucets with integrated sprayers help speed up dishwashing chores, hands-free faucets are great for busy cooks and under-mount sinks help keep spills and stains off countertops.

7. Cramped Islands

Squeezing an island into a too-small space is a common kitchen design error. You’ll need at least 42 inches of space between the island and the surrounding cabinets to make the feature workable. The island itself should be at least 3 feet wide and 5 feet long for it to be a useful addition.

8. Ill-Planned Storage

No one wants to have to fetch a step stool to reach an item or to rummage around drawers looking for the right utensil. Your Long Island kitchen design should include a place for everything with features like drawer dividers, small appliance storage and pantries that help keep everything in its place.

9. Trend Traps

While it’s fun to be fashionable, savvy Long Island homeowners understand that a well-executed kitchen remodel can raise a home’s market value. The last thing you want is to cheapen your investment with a design that looks dated in just a few seasons. A classically stylish design will likely give you a better return on your new Long Island kitchen than one featuring the latest trends.